05 September 2016

How to have a truly relaxing vacation

We plan a vacation to relax and to get away from it all.  But have you ever felt that nagging feeling?  Just as you have finished going on a glorious vacation, you suddenly feel that you need to go on another short vacation just to recover from your last vacation?  It is quite funny, but I'm pretty sure most us have felt this.  Here are some tips that Mickey and I would do when we're on a relaxing vacation.

Use a reliable travel website to find the best priced hotels and airlines, like Traveloka
They have the most competitive price for flights and hotels in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.  Plus, there are no hidden charges. What you see is what you pay.

Truly experience your vacation
Although taking photos and capturing a moment is second nature to most of us, sometimes we actually lose out on experiencing a great moment because we are too busy capturing a photo for our social media accounts.  Assign a day that you actually bring your camera with you just to take photos.  Remember that the best thing when going on vacation is also experiencing it with all of your senses.

These photos were taken during one of our scheduled "shoot days" where Mickey and I both learned how to paddle board for the first time!  It was difficult at first, but when you're finally able to get your balance, it is quite relaxing and addicting to do.

Avoid having a strict itinerary plan 
In my line of work, I am very detailed and I would follow a schedule very strictly.  Mickey noticed this about me during our first vacation together and just as I was excited to show him what our activities will be in the next few days are, he tells me, "Relax, we are on vacation.  Trust that the day will dictate what we need to do".  You know what?  He was actually right, I didn't have to stress that we have to be at a certain place at a certain time.  Plus, if the weather suddenly doesn't cooperate, it doesn't dampen our vacation mood.

Discovered a much quieter side of Boracay Island during one of "no agenda" days

Limit the use of technology
This may be the most obvious and the most hard to do.  But seriously, tuning out on unwanted distractions while on vacation is the best way to relax when you're away from home.  So, just when you feel like turning on your mobile data, don't.  If it is unavoidable or unreasonable for you to do so, check it at least once, or even twice a day at a predetermined time (for example, one at 8:00 a.m. and another at 6:00 p.m.), then shut if off right away before you forget that you are actually on vacation.

Lose your watch
If you can afford to do this, try it out.  Limiting yourself to certain activities due to the time is an absolute adventure and fun killer.  Mickey and I actually do this sometimes, it is very liberating to do things because it is right in front of you and the opportunity dictates it.  By not wearing a watch, it means that you will not be bound by certain activities.  For example, just because it's lunch time, you would need to eat.  But in reality, you are not yet hungry because you just had a big breakfast.   

Go on vacation with like-minded travel buddies
Imagine, you love to soak up the sun when you go to the beach, but your travel buddy always avoids the sun because she doesn't want to get tan lines.  It will be a very limiting and compromising vacation experience right?

I think no matter how much you get along with some people, some are just not made to travel together.  Find travel buddies who enjoy a similar pace as you, whether you're an adventurist/explorer type or the relaxed/chill type of traveler, choosing like-minded travel buddies is essential to avoid disagreements that may lead to stressful situations.

With my favorite travel buddy, and some of the crazy photos we take while on vacation

Eat good food
Load up on fruits to strengthen your immune system during vacation.  Eat citrus and watermelons to cool and hydrate your body during summer season.  Pick restaurants that practice food safety hygiene.  A case of food poisoning can really ruin your whole vacation.

Travel light
Airlines, hotels and land transfers can be tiring if you're carrying a heavy load.  Pack light and you'll even save yourself some cash on excess baggage fees.

Bring a medicine kit
A migraine, an upset stomach and allergies can also ruin a vacation.  Make sure you carry some medicines with you on your vacation.  You might not find a drug store near you when you are on a secluded island in the middle of the night.

Get travel insurance
This is often overlooked but extremely important especially when travelling overseas.  Who said you can't buy peace of mind?  This is your protection when you get extremely sick or injured yourself in an accident on a country with very expensive healthcare.  Make sure to get travel insurance when travelling, this would take off a lot of anxiety when the need arises.   

Book a hotel room that best suit your travel budget
A hotel doesn't need to be so expensive to be truly relaxing.  Find one that best suits your budget.  A hotel that has an excellent staff to cater to your needs will give you a memorable experience.  For me, a good hotel must be clean, secure, and has good amenities and services that you really need.

Wind down from your vacation
Give yourself another day when you come back home.  Perhaps schedule a massage at the comforts of your own home or at your favorite spa to give you the ultimate "welcome home" relaxation time.  Nothing spoils a really good vacation than to be flying back home on a Sunday evening and going back to work at 8:00 a.m. the next day.  Surely, you'll feel a lot more relaxed when you go back to work.

Here's to a truly relaxing vacation on your next one!

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